Maiduguri, Nigeria — Multiple devastating suicide bombing attacks were reported over the span of 24 hours in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri killing nine and wounding upwards of 13, of which most were civilians. The attacks came after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan had just come to an end where people were flooding the streets in what is known as Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Of the several suicide bombings four were perpetrated by female Boko Haram converts that are suspected of coming from the some 300 schoolgirls Boko Haram abducted from a secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno State.
Boko Haram also claimed to have attacked a Nigerian military police convoy on the outskirts of Maiduguri earlier last week where the elusive Boko Haram leader, Abubakr Shekau released a fresh propaganda video where he appears glassy-eyed and holding what looks like a stick instead of a microphone while proudly declaring his Boko Haram were responsible for the attack stating: “I want to tell you that we are the one that attacked the convoy, here are the vehicles for all to witness.” The video then cuts to several scenes of Boko Haram fighters engaging what looks like a mix of military and civilian vehicles with heavy machine guns mounted to the back of camouflaged pick up trucks. Then the video cuts to graphic images of what looks like dead Nigerian soldiers and others captured tied to a stump in preparation for beheading by machete-wielding Boko Haram terrorists.
Video courtesy of: YouTube
Then Shekau reveals another chilling revelation, Boko Haram has also kidnapped an unknown number of women as well saying, “[W]e are the ones that abducted the female police officers, in fact, they are senior female police officers,” — “What we did is nothing when compared to our women, children, and friends that have been wiped out or arrested for many years by the Nigerian government. Shekau then informs the viewers of the fate these women now face; We only abducted them to serve as slaves to us.”
Shekau won’t give the number of women abducted for his men of Boko Haram, only stating that their number of their new “slaves” are fewer than 10. Shekau also went on to almost antagonize the Nigerian government and its military claiming the government “lied about Boko Haram being defeated.”
Shekau may be referring to the joint assault where troops from the Nigerian Army, along with a local militia known as the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) of Maiduguri, conducted a full-on assault against what Nigerian intelligence called ‘Camp Zairo.’ This camp was the last of Boko Haram’s major strongholds. The sweep-and-clear mission named ‘Operation LAFIYA DOLE’ successfully combined air and ground forces. The Nigerian forces, along with the CJTF, executed a coordinated assault following an intense artillery barrage onto Camp Zairo, sending Boko Haram fighters scattering in a desperate attempt to counter the early morning raid—to no avail. The Nigerian assault force proved too overwhelming, and what was left of the Boko Haram fighters, and apparently their leader, ran off into the Sambisa, allowing the Nigerian troops to capture its de facto headquarters.
Feature image courtesy of: YouTube